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January 07, 2007

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Yehuda Berlinger

Ender's Game's sequels: I wouldn't bother. The first, Children of the Mind, contains a few nice ideas, but like so many other authors, he progressively loses his ability to write as he goes along. The plots remain good, but the writing becomes worse and worse. This seems to happen with a lot of sci-fi and fantasy authors, in my experience.

Yehuda

Sanne Roemen

I bumped in to book nr 5 today. Picked it up because of the cover. Put it back down when I read the flap stating it was about not getting organized. Uhm, so what I don't understand is how you can be dissapointed, since the flap is so clear about what to expect when you read it? It doesn't say 'this is about the web being a messy place'.
Re the other books you read: wow I can't wait till they hit the stores!!!! Thanks for the raves. Am reading the starfish right now and indeed: it's worth going on vacation for again (soon!)

Graeme Watson

I wonder if when 'Back Swans' is released on the West Coast of Australia it'll be re-titled 'White Swans', here Black Swans are so damn common they are on our state's flag.

Eric

Ditto the poster above on the "Ender" sequels. They're not worth it. Card gets increasingly preachy in the "Speaker for the dead" arc (Yeah, we get that you're a Mormon Card) and the writing kind of falls apart by the end in either case. The "Ender's Shadow" arc is just a weak story.

It's a shame, because Ender's Game really was a brilliant novel.

Chris Anderson

Sanne,

I'd pre-ordered it from Amazon months ago, before the flap was available to be read. I suppose more research would have revealed that they were heading down an uninteresting path, but I was so interested in messiness that I was hoping for the best.

Chris

John Wesley

Ender's Game is great book. I read all the rest in the series during my big Orson Scott Card period. When I heard of blogging it immediately made me think of the way Peter and Valentine use the net to gain influence. Do you think bloggers will ever really get that much power?

Sanne Roemen

Ah ok. I get it. I think I might have fallen for it too. I'll keep my eyes open if I find a book about the messyness of the web I'll let you know!

John Chrisoulakis

In Australia - black swans are common. A few years back on a visit to Japan I was showing some locals a book on Tasmanian and Australian fauna and they were shocked to see pictures of a black swan. They explained that their name for swan is literally "white bird". Talk about cognitive dissonance: black-white bird!

Ben

Glad you enjoyed Ender's Game, Chris--but that's my personal copy! You better have not dog-eared it or filled it with TOO much sand! But I jest--and in opposition to the rest of the posters, I DO recommend the rest of the Ender's Game books. The direct sequels are yes, very strange, and yes, not brilliantly written. However, they're very interesting reads and I enjoyed them. I also recommend the Ender's Shadow books. They're much more character driven stories and geopolitics and not much sci-fi, but they're still great reads. Maybe I'm just an OSC fanboy, but I recommend the later books.

~Duk

Adam Jusko

Reviewed Wikinomics here.

Interesting read. I thought it was going to be overly focused on collaborative Web sites that make no money, but a lot focuses on big companies and non-techy companies that are using new collaborative models to actually make earnings (unlike many social media Web sites).

I have A Perfect Mess sitting on my desk & I hope I have a different impression of it than you or I'll be wasting my time. Although my desk is a disaster, so I'm hoping it will make me feel better about that.

Mary Warner

Here's a book suggestion for those of you long-tailers out there trying to get attention. I, too, found this over the holiday break, it having just been released. It's called "Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die" by Chip & Dan Heath. The authors were inspired to write it after reading Malcolm Gladwell's "The Tipping Point."

Jonathan Potts

I'm curious as to why you gave up fiction for so long. It seems like a lot of people say that they don't read fiction.

Ed Yourdon

Like others, I'm delighted that you found the "Ender's Game" series; by all means, do read at least the next couple of items in the series ...after the third or fourth, they start to get a little strange. But make sure you also read another of Orson Scott Card's fabulous sci-fi books: "Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus." It's mind-blowing...

Chris Anderson

Jonathan,

I'm busy and fiction counts as an indulgence, something I have too little time for (I don't watch TV, either, for the same reason). Plus, I find made-up stuff just not as stimulating as the amazing ideas and learning that reality offers. That said, I miss fiction and hope to come back to it when I've got more time someday.

My only real entertainment indulgence is videogames, and I only play them with the kids (I claim that counts as bonding time)

Chris

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Tidbits

The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

Notes and sources for the book

FREE was available in all digital forms--ebook, web book, and audiobook--for free shortly after the hardcover was published on July 7th. The ebook and web book were free for a limited time and limited to certain geographic regions as determined by each national publisher; the unabridged MP3 audiobook (get zip file here) will remain free forever, available in all regions.

Order the hardcover now!